Categories: Dogs

Heat Stroke in Dogs: Prevention is Better than Cure

As things start hotting up, we need to take some time to think about the safety and welfare of our pets. Hot weather can cause sun burn, heat stress, and dehydration in pets, and can lead to heat stroke in dogs, which is often fatal. By purchasing a few simple pet accessories, you can rest assured in the knowledge that your pet will be comfortable and safe during hot weather. The following tips will keep your dog safe during hot spells and prevent your pet from becoming a victim of heat stroke.

Symptoms of Heat Stroke in Dogs

Symptoms of heat stroke in dogs include excessive panting, drooling, obvious distress, elevated body temperature, elevated heart rate, weakness, inability to walk or even stand. In severe cases the dog will collapse. If your pet shows any of theses symptoms you need to cool it down by immersing it in cold water or by hosing it with cold water. Offer water to drink. Seek veterinary attention immediately in severe cases, as heat stroke in dogs can be fatal, especially in elderly dogs, or dogs with heart conditions.

Don’t Leave Pets in Cars

Never leave your pets unattended in a vehicle during hot weather – not even with the windows open. The temperature inside a parked car rises rapidly, and could quickly cause your dog to suffer from heat stress. Worse still, your dog could die from heat stroke in very little time at all. Just don’t do it.

Exercise with Caution

Refrain from exercising your dog during hot weather to prevent dehydration and overheating. Protect your dog’s paws when walking your dog on hot tar surfaces, or even hot beach sand, as this is not only painful, but it can actually burn the sensitive pads on the underside of the paws, resulting in painful blisters. If you take your dog to the beach with you, make sure to take a beach umbrella or pet shelter along to provide shade, together with sufficient water plus a portable water dispenser or water bowl to prevent your dog from becoming dehydrated.

Provide Fresh Water

Make sure that your pet has access to a supply of fresh water throughout the day. Place the water container in a shady spot so that it doesn’t get too hot. Water is essential to prevent dehydration, the first symptom of heat stress. If you are not at home in the day to top up the water bowl when it runs dry, invest in an automatic pet water dispenser or faucet waterer to provide your pet with a constant supply of fresh water throughout the day. If your dog is a water lover, a plastic dog pool or kiddies paddle pool will offer welcome relief on very hot days.

Provide Your Pet With Shade

Dogs are particularly vulnerable to heat stroke in hot weather, especially if they cannot find a cool spot to seek comfort. This is particularly problematic in enclosed gardens that have little shade, and is exacerbated if the area is paved so that the dog cannot dig into the ground to find comfort in cool soil – a habit most gardeners would not encourage anyway. Purchase a wireless dog fence, that you can use to contain your dog in a shady area. A wireless dog containment system offers flexibility to be able to reposition the boundaries wherever you wish. This is extremely useful in summer, when sun and shadows move throughout the day. It can be used to contain your dog in a shady area even if there are no external boundary walls – keeping your dog cool, and safely off the road.

Follow these basic safety tips to prevent heat stroke in dogs to keep your pet safe and happy throughout the hot summer season.

Jenny Griffin

is the Owner/Founder of Ecologix Environmental Media Services, Ecology Matters, and Stuff4Petz. Jenny is a freelance writer specializing in topics related to pet care, animal welfare, and environmental issues. She has published a series of Pet Owners Guides - view her Amazon author profile. Jenny has worked with animals all her life, having owned her own pet shop, dog grooming parlor, and educational mobile petting zoo; and has also worked in the fields of marine science and environmental education. Jenny resides on a smallholding with her extensive menagerie of rescued animals, which is in itself a full time job. When she is not writing or caring for her animals, she can be found surfing the waves at her local beach, or spending time with her horses.

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